Electric Cars

It’s been about a week or so since I discovered that authorities have intervened to prohibit one more electric car feature that had me right on the exciting verge of obtaining one of those vehicles. First it was the auto drive feature which really tweaked my interest from the start. I mean, how cool would it be to just set the vehicle to auto drive, then climb in the back seat for a nap while traversing the massively boring trip through LA. It’s normally a very slow trip so the danger of damage caused by a speeding, out of control vehicle is minimized. Still, I can see the potential for disastrous results if such technology fell into the hands of someone less responsible than my humble self.

It’s my understanding that the auto drive feature isn’t totally disabled. One can activate it but someone in the driver’s seat must keep both hands on the steering wheel. I’m actually OK with that because I think I could find a small child, who can’t reach the pedals, to sit in the driver’s seat and hang on to the steering wheel for me.

Now, after making the auto drive feature more difficult to use, they’ve taken away the games from the driver. I’m thinking, “Really! They allow us to install games on the iPad-like dashboard then make it illegal for the driver play them? What’s the point of that?” OK, they make it difficult for the driver to play because they will have to push a button to verify they aren’t driving. That makes sense, too.

I’m saying this with tongue in cheek because I’m not someone who plays games on my iPad. Therefore, in my electric car I would simply sit and watch while my passenger played. That makes sense, too, right? Quite a safety feature.

Now that I’ve got all that off my chest I’ll share that I think installing video games on a device that’s in a prominent position for both driver and passenger is about the most ignorant thing I’ve ever heard of. Making Tesla gaming available is like daring the driver to not play them while driving.

O, wait! People play on their phones all the time while driving so, perhaps, playing on a larger screen, installed in your dashboard, will make it easier to keep an eye on the road while playing since they won’t be looking down in their laps in an attempt to fool people into believing they aren’t playing with their phone. Until they run into someone. Then everyone knows.

The previous information is based on personal opinions of which I have many and, so far, opinions which I can share at will.

I’d continue but don’t have anything worthwhile to share. It would just be a continuation of the foregoing, wasting words for absolutely no reason.

Hope all is well with all of you.

Surprise!

Warning!! This is an old entry that I started on September 9th, I think, and never finished. But, it’s got a nice photo so I’m sending it anyway.

Right this very minute Diane and I are enjoying the unseasonable humidity and heat in Kehei, Maui, in a condo that doesn’t have A/C. I’ll expand on that later …

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Reports of my demise have been greatly exaggerated. Actually, I seriously doubt that anyone even considered something like that even though the last post I made was August 1st. I know that’s true because I looked. Since then an incredible number of ‘things’ have occurred that I simply won’t address because I don’t remember most of them.

An admission like that could possibly cause some of you to question the condition of my short-term memory but let me assure you there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that part of me. I say that with confidence because, at Diane’s request, I was tested and have been duly certified. I aced the test. Honest, I did. Ask Diane. I’m pretty sure she’ll concur.

Even so, I can’t possibly remember all the stuff that’s happened during the past month and I’m just lazy enough to not have any desire to search my calendar, like I used to, to review events. But I do remember what happened today, so that’s where I’ll start.

Diane and I are currently ensconced in a room at the Hillcrest Inn in Seaside, Oregon. I may have mentioned in previous posts, that we’ve been here before. We stay here because we live on Hillcrest Rd. in St. Helens and when Diane was concerned about my failing short-term memory she figured I’d be less likely to get lost if we stayed in a place with a similar name to our home street. Now that’s I’ve been certified, however, we just stay here because we like it.

The occasion for this visit is to be at the beach for a large minute tide. The kind where you can walk all the way around Haystack Rock when the tide is at its lowest. That’s what we plan to do around 0700 in the morning when the tide begins to go negative. That gives us a 2-hour window to make it around Haystack Rock. unfortunately, the tide didn’t go out quite far enough to make it around, but most of the tide pools around the monolith were accessible.

Sadly, I used my really good camera to take all the photos then I was unable to download them from the SIMM. Very odd.

This evening we sat in our chairs on the beach for a couple of hours watching the ocean. Then the birds came and began obscuring our view of the water. Well, they really didn’t obscure the view as much as cause a huge distraction. From our vantage point, about 1/4 mile from the water, we watched pelican’s soaring in graceful lines, dipping into the trough’s between waves, then rising briefly and soaring into the next trough. It was fascinating to watch. There were literally hundreds of them swooping south, then north for the entire time we were there.

Then we saw the smaller birds flying south, then north a little beyond the surf line in vast numbers. My first guess was that we were watching at least 37 million birds up and down the beach. That’s a huge number, I know, but I’m sure it’s close. Perhaps thousands would be more accurate but not nearly so astounding. Turns out they are cormorants and exhibit this kind of behavior this time of year on a regular basis. Neither Diane nor I had ever seen such a display before and it was quite amazing. The sea shimmered with the number of birds moving in vast herds just above the surface as they sped left (south) for half an hour, then right (north) for another half an hour to even things up. Back and forth they went, the entire two hours we watched them. We would have stayed longer but it got chilly, and dark.

It’s Been Fun, and Thanks for the Memories

Although we are scheduled to be home by September 30th, I think we can officially say we’re winding down, and heading home. Tonight will be our 3rd at the Bearmouth Chalet RV Park situated on the shores of the Clark Fork River. The river is between us and I-90, and the traffic noise is pretty loud, but it seems to just go away at night. Trains go by pretty often, too, but the same rule applies – tolerable at night.

The two hour trip from Kalispell to here took us 5 hours. That seems to be the way this trip has gone for every leg of this trip. Projected time provided by our maps and GPS units do not concur with reality. The common joke between the drivers for pretty much every leg of the trip is to hold up five fingers while stating that it’s only a 2 hour trip. Funny thing

Things would have been a little closer the projection, but one of us developed an issue with brakes climbing the hills going south making the trip down a little exciting. Stepping on the brake pedal and not getting any resistance before it bottoms out is a bit concerning, and terrifying. Especially when you’re driving a 30+ ft Class A RV.

The problem was solved by puling to the side of Highway 93 and letting everything cool off for a while. Hence, the added time for the trip. The master brake cylinder is physically located about 6-8 inches from the exhaust manifold causing the brake fluid to boil and lose it’s compression properties. Wrapping the master cylinder with a moldable aluminum baking pan added the additional protection that got us safely to our destination. It should serve us well for the remainder of the trip, also.

Prior to leaving Kalispell, we had a celebratory birthday dinner/party for Susie.

Diane, Susie, and Carolann spent a lot of their free time looking ahead to our next parking place. Without their efforts we would have had a hard time getting from one place to another. We all agreed that knowing where we’re going to land at the next stop is important. Takes a lot of stress off the drivers. Diane was normally the one who made the final phone call for reservations and she’s really good at it. Makes life on the road way better.

After Kalispell our next stop was at the BearMouth Chalet & RV Park on the shores of the Clark Fork River which just happened to be on the same exit (138) as the exit for the Garnet Ghost Town. All of that is a few miles east of Missoula.

The next day we took a drive up the mountain to the ghost town and spent a few hours looking through the remaining buildings. Much of the furnishings were still in place giving us a good idea of what it must have been like to live in such a primitive manner. Not an easy life for the miners and their families. Getting there was an adventure in itself as it was 15 miles off the main road, most of it gravel and one lane. Fun stuff. At times the sheer side of the road was a couple hundred feed down, but there were always a lot of trees to break the fall should someone wander off the road.

River’s Edge Resort was our next stop near the small village of Alberton, Montana. Beautiful spot on the banks of the Clark Fork River. Had a riverside dinner to end this brief stay.

Then we bedded down for the night preparing for the next leg of this epic venture.

Later.

“Camping at Umpqua Lighthouse State Park”

Here we are, tethered to slot #8 at the Umpqua Lighthouse State Park campground. Finally!

This is a park Diane has been wanting to visit for a long time but circumstances didn’t work out until recently. She was a little giddy when she made the reservations. It’s really good to see her so happy like that. Makes me happy, too.

Getting here was an unexpected challenge that nearly destroyed our RV and the tow car and it was all because of our decision to take the road less travelled. The reason for that, we discovered, was because it was pretty narrow in spots making it difficult to keep the rig in the lane without going over the center line. Early on, during this route, the right front wheel leaned a little too far right, going over the white line designating the bike lane, you’d think, but it was only about 6″ wide. Consequently, the tire made it all the way off the asphalt, causing a lot of jittering and a bit of fear as I worked to get it back on the road. Which I did. Diane was in the back cooking something, I think, or getting something from the fridge, so wasn’t looking out the windshield to see what was going on. That was a good thing. She would have absolutely freaked out! Really! I can say that with confidence because she was in the navigator’s chair the next time it happened and she was praising Jesus to save us all.

The same kind of thing happened but the bike lane wasn’t even 6″ wide as the asphalt terminated at the outer edge of the white line. So, technically, there was no bike lane at all. It was just a white line, then nothing. This particular event happened as the road curved to the right a little with traffic coming at me from every which direction. The right front made it off the road, then the right back tire went off, then the tow car went entirely into the ditch. I learned that from the guy who was behind us watching the entire show.

I felt the car pull the RV’s back end around about the time I got the front wheels on the asphalt then the RV’s back tires miraculously also grabbed a little asphalt giving me some traction to work with. At that time I was heading across the road with my front wheels turned to the right, then the car must have left the ditch and started the old wobbly back and forth that I’ve experienced before which seems to be a “thing” with the Equinox.

I was able to get the RV back into my lane while slowing down as much as possible. By this time I was probably going about 15 mph, but all that stuff going on behind me made it all pretty exciting.

I got the wobbly to stop, turned a corner onto a major road then pulled over and stopped to see what the damage was. At this time I was still unaware that the tow car had been in the ditch. The guy behind me also pulled over and stopped in front of me and told me he thought the car was going to roll over as it was entirely in the ditch and he wasn’t really sure how I managed to get it all back together.

The entire event probably took 15 seconds, start to stop, and Diane was making sure Jesus was paying attention. I’m pretty sure he was because other than a little mud splattered all over Diane’s white car, there was no apparent damage. So, we buckled up and continued on our way. There were no more experiences like that for the remainder of the trip.

Then we exited Highway 101 in Winchester Bay following the GPS directions, looking for Umpqua Lighthouse State Park. The GPS took us past at least 7 nice RV parks and led us out into the middle of a parking lot where folks who ride quads in the sand gather to unload their equipment. There was no park in site. Just this huge parking lot surrounded by sand. I found a gentleman and asked for directions which his wife gave as she knew what we were looking for. All we had to do was go back the way we came and go past the first 3 campgrounds and turn right on Lighthouse Road. We did that and drove past the Umpqua lighthouse, around a few corners then back out to Highway 101. Nowhere was there any evidence of a campground. So, we went around again and stopped in the parking lot near the lighthouse and I walked back to what appeared to be an occupied 5th wheel nearby.

I knocked on their door and caused a dog to light up the surrounding area with a serious round of barking. Finally, the door was opened and I explained my dilemma. The lady of the house ensured me that we were very close to our destination then gave me some very detailed directions on how to get there.

Without going into more detail, we were able to reach our objective and get connected to power and water before darkness claimed the day. For once in my life I was thankful for daylight saving time. We would have never found this place in the dark.

The problem is, you see, that the GPS made us turn on the wrong road, leading us around to the back of the park. Then, going up Lighthouse Road from where we were wasn’t useful because the sign for the park can only be seen coming from the other direction. Pretty handy, right?

We got settled, had dinner, read our books for a while, went to bed and I slept for almost 9 hours. That’s totally unlike my bladder to allow me to do that. I was amazed. Pleased, but amazed.

Then I went outside to have another look at the car. Although it started pouring rain about the time we settled down, the car was still dirty. But, all the parts seemed to be there and nothing was dented.

After breakfast we decided to take a ride and check out our surroundings. Shortly into the trip it was obvious that things were different as there was an odd odor creeping into the car, and something was dragging on the pavement. A quick look under the hood solve the odor – it was debris from the ditch that had been tossed all over the engine that was being heated by the engine. The item dragging on the pavement was a piece of the right front fender well that had come unsnapped from whatever kept it in place. Not in the mood to give it a lot of attention, I just bent it up away from the road and called it good.

The scraping sound went away and after about 10 miles so did the odor.

Considering all of the possibilities for what could have happened to us we could only look at each other and know, for sure, that we were blessed. Apparently we both have more to do in this world and apparently we’ll need the RV and tow car to do it.

Thank you Jesus!

Errands, a Vaccination, & Pork Chops

I’ve been in a bit of a daze over the last eleven days since my last post. Some of you may think that’s normal for me, and perhaps you’re correct. I readily admit that my thoughts are easily scattered making it difficult for me to distinguish fact and fiction. Since fiction is my favorite form of reading material I tend to lean heavily in the direction. Continuing with the scattered theme, that’s kinda what this post will be about.

The other day I was summoned to Daniel & Jennifer’s home to pick up some documents that needed to be scanned and some mail Jennifer wished me to mail. Oh, and deliver her water bill to the appropriate box at the water department.

When I arrived to accomplish these things, Jennifer took my photo.

She thought she’d have it to share with her friends to show them what a goofball I am. What she didn’t know was that I wound up at her door in this manner because her Mother expressly forbid me to leave the house looking like this. I admit I was flirting with danger doing this, but it’s tough for me to back away from a challenge like that. Plus, I had strong notions about going to Walmart while I was out. On the trip, however, I re-evaluated that course of action because it was daylight and it’s my understanding that people don’t usually go to Walmart dressed like this during the day. It’s evening garb. I could be wrong about that, but figured not going was erring on the side of caution.

I’ve been talking with Cedric a lot via email lately and that’s fun. He’s stationed aboard the USS Nimitz (CVN-68), in case I haven’t mentioned that early. The ship has been deployed for almost a year now. That’s a long time at sea. With the COVID pandemic they don’t get port visits like a normal WESTPAC cruise. That, and with Iran playing games with missiles, the ship is always on alert. Just recently Iran planted one in the ocean abour a 100 miles from the Nimitz, just to say “Hi!”

Cedric is weathering the cruise nicely and is looking forward to getting back Stateside. He will be discharged not long after they return.

Today was a banner day for me. Diane drove me to the VA Hospital so I could get my 1st COVID vaccination shot. I made the appointment online and it was a very simple process. Here’s the shirt I wore…

The nurses all wanted one. Since I got it from Daniel, my son-in-law, I gave them all his email address and phone number so he could help them. Actually, that’s a lie. I didn’t do that, but it might have been fun to see how many of them would have called or emailed him. But I didn’t. Honest.

I spent a total of 25 minutes in the hospital rom the time I checked in to the auditorium until I left the building. That included filling out a form, getting the shot, then sitting in a chair for 15 minutes to see if I could do it without falling on the floor.

The nurse was great. Didn’t get her name so I’ll call her Ruby. That’s a fun name. The first thing I asked her was if the needle was really as huge as the ones the news has been showing us for weeks now. They just looked overly large, and they always showed the nurse pushing it into someone’s are really slow. Ruby and I talked about that a little bit and she assured me the needle was normal size and she would be quick about it. She even let me take a photo of her in action …

I found Diane parked pretty close to the front door and we had a nice ride home. When we got there., I fried up some pork chops for lunch …

They were really good. I marinated them in some Yoshidas teriyaki stuff that I found in the cupboard. It was brand new, never opened, and had an expiration date of October 2018. Looked good to me. Tasted good, too.

Now, many hours after the shot, my arm is really sore. I’m not sure if it’s all because of the shot, or partially because Diane had me help her scrub the little black dog. That, my friends, is a risky job. He’s pretty blind and isn’t really fond of water so his goes on high alert to protect himself and gets quite aggressive. Thankfully, I have some heavy duty leather gloves to wear during this evolution. I hold him while Diane does the scrubbing. It only took about an hour.

Now I’m going to go sit with Diane and watch news for a while.

Stay safe out there and don’t neglect to get your shot when given the opportunity.

Dazed & Confused

I don’t know where to start with this today. So much has been happening that my mind is frizzled just a bit in an effort to make sense of events.

First: The new windows we had installed earlier in the week work great. We removed the Anderson windows that were installed in 1957, which were nice but not very good with insulation, and replaced them with brand new 2020 double pane Anderson windows. Not only is the insulation noticeably better, the windows help with dimming down outside noise. That was unexpected, but it makes sense. So, life is good. Now all I have to do is save up enough money to buy enough lumber to trim all the windows. Diane want it to be oak and my first rough estimate is I need about 325 board feet to get it done. I will measure again just to make sure, of course. Diane insists. This shouldn’t take me much more than a year and a half, give or take a few months either way.

Second: COVID has involved itself with our lives. Our granddaughter tested positive about a week ago. She recently turned 21 so I accused her, kiddingly, that she shouldn’t have been hanging out at all those bars. She wasn’t and I knew that. She knew I knew it, too. Her symptoms are mild but still it’s not anything to trifle with so we will remain concerned for now. Also in the family, our daughter, Jennifer and hubby Daniel, are fostering Daniel’s great nephew who was recently diagnosed with COVID. He’s only 8-months-old. Everyone else in the family tested negative. Diane and I don’t count because we’re old and don’t go anywhere. We’re very good sequesterers. Professional, you might say, and we’re just fine with that.

Third: How about that mini-Revolution we had yesterday. Diane and I watched the events as they unfolded and were astounded that only one person was shot. What a mess. I won’t expound on this because I avoid political issues on this forum. I have opinions, of course, but I’m pretty sure none of you want to ‘hear’ about them.

Fourth: I had an “in person” eye appointment at the VA hospital with a nice young lady named Jahaila. She’s working at the VA as an intern and will graduate in May as a real deal Doctor. I enjoyed my visit and look forward to getting my new glasses in a few weeks. I think the glasses are made in Boise, last I heard, and they have a heavy workload, hence the delay. I think the glasses are delivered to our local post office by two guys on a tandem bicycle who’s sole purpose in life is to deliver glasses for the VA. For safety, they only travel backroads, never on freeways. In towns they are allowed to ride on the sidewalks because the guy in the back is legally blind. Since he isn’t steering, that’s OK. He’s really only there to pedal, really hard, and isn’t in any way responsible for anything they run over, or into, during their delivery trips. They’ve been doing this for many years now so they must really be careful.

This is the view from the 8th floor elevator lobby of the Portland VA Hospital.

Fifth: Diane’s Mom’s light over her sink burned out so I replaced it after we got back from the VA. Putting in a new bulb didn’t fix it so I got out my trusty multi meter and didn’t learn a thing that would lead to a solution. So, I called my friend, Doug, who used to be a professional electrician for some insight. He tells me that his knowledge of codes terminates around 2010 so he limits his involvement with the understanding that anything he shares isn’t useful with regard to current codes. We kibutzed a bit and he managed to lead me in a direction that will probably allow me to resolve the problem on my own. Tomorrow will tell the tail. All I have to do is remember what he told me. It would be easier with notes but he stresses the importance of not taking notes during our visits because something could go wrong which could result in a visit from the police. I understand his concern, so there are no notes. Just my faulty memory. We’ll see how that goes.

Now it’s time for me to stop all activity for the day and go sit with Diane to make sure she doesn’t watch too many shows about renovating houses. They leave her giddy with possibilities about our home. Thankfully, we live a long way from Waco so we can’t feasibly engage Chip and Joann to fix our house. It would be nice, though. Wouldn’t it be funny if they read this and decided to come visit? I’ll be sure to let you know if that happens. Honest, I will.

Now I must stop and report that a lot of what you just read is false. I can’t help myself.

G’nite.

South Beach, Jennie, CT/PET scans

This is Oregon’s South Beach, not Florida’s. It’s a state park on the Oregon Coast. That’s where we are at this moment in time. Watching the VP debate.

About the debate. After watching the presidential debate, no way were we going to miss this one.

The trip north was non-eventful. The entire way the sky looked almost like it was going to rain at any moment. It didn’t, but should have. If it had perhaps I could have scraped the 3-4 millions bugs off the windshield. From the inside of the coach, the windshield looks a lot like modern art. Before leaving tomorrow I’ll see if I can capture it in a photo with the thought of framing it for a prominent spot above our fireplace.

When we first checked in to the South Beach camp ground, we set up in space A-33, the one we selected when originally registering. One of the first things I do when setting up camp is to determine how good our southern view is. That’s important for good satellite TV reception. Gotta have that so we can check the news. And other stuff.

After I got the coach all set up it was apparent right away that we didn’t have a good southern view. Neither did we have access to broadcast channels. So, I went cruising around the park looking for a better spot. I found that E-31 was far better and went back to the Park Ranger and he switched our sites.

We broke camp and moved. Everything works great.

I can hear your heads twirling about how what I’m describing has anything to do with camping in any way shape or form. Camping is setting up a tent, stoking a wood fire, cooking with the fire or on a tiny little gas stove. You bundle up when it’s cold, and you sleep on the ground. We used to do that.

Then we got old and camping took on a new look for us. Sleeping on the ground became difficult and extremely undesireable. So, we don’t do that any more.

NOTE: I just opened my laptop and found this as a draft from October 7th so it’s a bit out of date. Instead of wracking my tiny brain for more information related to South Beach I’m going to skip ahead a bit and share where we are this moment in time – Deschutes River State Park near The Dalles, Oregon. That’s almost as far away from South Beach as we can get. Actually, that’s not even close to true because the further east we go on I-84 the further we get from South Beach. But, that’s a bit irrelevant for this narrative.

This trip we connected with our Winnebago Group once again. Diane made the arrangements for us to meet up with the group at the Troutdale Outlet mall so we could travel together east on I-84 to the park. Normally, when we rendezvous like this, we are the last to arrive, but this time we beat Terry & Carolann and Cliff & Susie by a mile. Les and Sophie were already at the camp ground so I guess you could say they beat us all. Which they did.

Since we arrived first, we got our lawn chairs out and sat in the sun, yes it was sunny, waiting for the others to arrive. It took them a while but that was to be expected since they live about 3 miles from Troutdale.

We establised another first by leading the group on the trip to the camp ground. What fun I had leading the pack. We mossed along at a sedate 60 mph the entire way.

Once we got to the campground, and connected to the utilities, I investigated the best view of the southern sky. I’ve mentioned before, maybe earlier in this narrative, that seeing the southern sky is imperative for a successful camping experience because that’s where the satellites live that we need to ‘see’ with our Dish antenna. Thankfully, the antenna finds the satellites all by itself. Nifty.

I reset the Dish received a few times with the antenna in various locations with no success. Then I decided to put it on the RV roof, always my last choice, to see what it could find. Turns out it was perfect even though the window to the sky was small through some very tall trees. I was amazed. Diane was very happy.

We set up on Thursday and prepared ourselves to silently celebrate our daughter’s, Jennifer’s, 45th birthday on Friday. Wow! Our baby is 45! But, she still looks like she’s 20-something. Knowing we weren’t going to be home, like almost every October 23rd for many years, we celebrated her birthday with dinner and a small party at Jen’s house last Wednesday. It was a nice, quiet visit. Always good. In attendance was Jen, Daniel, Lydia, Justin, Diane and me. I haven’t mentioned Justin before. He’s Lydia’s new boyfriend. Actually, they’ve known each other since they were wee children and went to school together. They were friends then until Justin called Lydia a “dumb blonde”, or something like that. Because of that she shunned him for the last 8 years or so. Now Lydia acknowledges that he is her boyfriend. It’s a good thing.

The next morning, we left town.

Now it’s time for some historical information to set the stage for Friday afternoon.

Diane was informed about spots in her lungs that concerned her doctor last February. The fact that the doctor knew about them was due to a serendipitous abdominal CT scan that was mistakenly done on her chest. One spot, behind her heart, was of primary concern so another CT scan was scheduled for April so they could see if anything changed. It didn’t, so another CT was scheduled for six months out, in October. That test, done on October 12th, showed changes. Not good news so a PET scan was scheduled for October 20th. Knowing that PET scans are a primary avenue for discovering cancer in one’s body was intimidating, but it had to be done.

That was just a few days ago. Yesterday, Friday, Jennie’s birthday, she got a call from her oncologist but it went right to voice mail so she didn’t get to talk with the doctor directly. The message she left relieved a lot of tension for both Diane and me. She said the PET scan didn’t reveal any bright spots, meaning there was no cancer. Then Diane was able to access the PET diagnosis which was pretty much all good news. Amazing. Her oncologist said there are things that need to be worked on, but the worst case wasn’t in the picture.

I am so happy that my life with Diane isn’t going to be cut short and Diane is so relieved that the doctors have something definitive to deal with. She told me that on the drive home after the PET scan she felt a calm envelope her, a sense of peace. Like a sign that all was going to be alright. So far, it is.

The fact that all this news became available on Jennifer’s birthday seemed to be significant. No doubt in our minds, prayers were answered. For that, we’re thankful.

Life is good.

The Other Day, Then Today

This is a short post to capture what we did on October 3rd. I didn’t do it on the day of because my computer was arguing with me and it wouldn’t let me add photos. So I closed it and put it under a bunch of clothes in a drawer, all alone. Since then it’s been very cooperative.

On the 3rd, we took a trip to Coos Bay to see the sites. Here’s what we saw …

That pretty much sums up our activities for the day.

As I peck on my keyboard, we are taking backroads to the Coos Bay area to, perhaps, do it again. We’ll be passing through Charleston on the way. Sunset Bay State Park, just below Shore Acres, is where we stayed a few years ago so got to like the area a little bit then. We’re going back to renew that romance.

As I twiddle my thumbs, waiting for something significant to happen, I’d like to report, whether or not you’d like me to, that this area, based on the the number of flags we see, Trump supporters are in abundance. Just sayin.

There may be photos added to this at a later date, but for now, I’m frustrated enough that dismantling my laptop seems like a good thing to do.

Later.

Trek to the beach

Truly, it was a trek. For Diane and me, it was an epic trek. It began quite calmly with a short walk around B Loop here in the park, to a very soft sand path that immediately aimed itself uphill. Next to the entry point stood a pole to which was attached a small sign with an arrow point the way. Beneath the arrow the distance was revealed to be 0.75 miles.

So, 3/4 of a mile uphill in soft sand. No problem. It was a challenge for both of us so we marched on. Very slowly.

Here I must report that this park has a portion available for folks who bring their horses and they are allowed to use portions of the sandy path we were trekking. Dodging occasional horse droppings on shared portions of the path caused me to wonder why campers are constantly reminded to clean up after their dogs but nowhere did I see similar reminders for horse owners to do the same. Especially for common use areas.

How is this fair? I suppose it could be a safety issue for the riders who would have to stop, dismount, cleanup, remount, then restart. Maybe OSHA made a decision that exempts horse folks from stooping so low as to pick up their poop. I don’t know, but, I have a solution.

Pretty much every parade I’ve ever attended had horses who marched down the road with all the other displays. Usually, they followed all the bands and marching units, for obvious reasons. Each group of horses is followed by a brave group of people with a shovel and a cart, picking up the droppings as necessary. I don’t think it’s beyond reasonable to provide the same service for horses allowed to traverse paths shared by humans. The pickeruppers could follow along on an off quad, or a small jeep.

Just a suggestion.

Now that I’ve unburdened my troubled sense of fairness, let me just say that Diane and I made the 1.5 mile round trip without incident. Although the temperature was reported at 68 degrees, neither of us believed it and took hoodies for the trip. They were put to good use once we arrived at the beach. The wind was blowing quite hard driving the wind chill factor down to about 9 degrees. That’s probably not true but it was really chilly. Even so, I ventured down that last steep hill to the beach so I could look at the little rocks the water scatters all over. Diane chose to skip that last challenge and found a comfy place to sit by a large sign with 146 on it. These signs, scattered up and down the coast, are used by safety agencies for locating emergencies along the coast. I looked that up so it must be true. Makes sense.

Anyway, while wandering around smartly on the beach, with no one within 2 miles of us, except the wind surfer making his way south. The results of my pebble hunting was about 7 pounds of extra weight for the return trip on that soft sand path home.

The path from the beach goes into those trees, and beyond. Daunting.

We took numerous breaks on the way back to let our hips and knees rest. Now it’s later, we’ve had supper, and sitting for any length of time causes micro seizures of all my crotch muscles. Getting up is difficult and painful. I’m having the same symptoms I get when I drag my golf bag around a 9-hole course. I fail to understand why all my discomfort is centered within the confines of my crotch area. Doesn’t make sense.

Still, it hurts. I will heal, I know, but for now, it hurts.

Please pray for me.

Rocks before the trip.
Rocks after the trip.

Road Trip

I’m doing something different today. Not really different, just something I haven’t done in a long time. Write on the fly. Diane’s driving and I’m connected to the tow car’s wifi which is really handy. Not only does it give me a chance to keep up with the blog, it diverts my attention from what happens on the highway. Sometimes it’s pretty scary with all those cars whizzing by willy nilly.

We’re headed south on Highway 101 with no clear destination in mind. Just going south. We’ve done this before but it’s been a long time so everything we see will be new.

First thing we did was stop by Face Rock State Park in Bandon. We donned our ‘car bibs’ and ate the bologna sandwiches Diane made for lunch. Pretty yummy stuff. Haven’t had bologna for a long time. Diane eats it quite often because it’s one of the sandwiches I can make from memory.

By the way, Ernie, Bandon’s population as of 2018 was 3,130, or thereabouts. Thought you’d like to know that it hasn’t grown much beyond what you remember.

After lunch we returned to the campground we’re in, Bullard’s Beach State Park, B-41,so I could make sure I didn’t leave my iPad and iMac laying on a chair outside. I was supposed to bring it with us so I could fiddle while Diane drove.

Turns out I left it on a table inside so they were safe.

Then, we headed south again and made it all the way to DQ where the siren song of a chocolate malt caused us to stop. Actually, I’m the chocolate malt guy. Diane usually gets the squishy drinks. This time she got a lemon twizzle, or something like that. She likes it.

It’s a beautiful day – 68 and no clouds. That’s really a good temperature for the beach. Hope it’s still that warm when we get there.

We’ve been watching the news every night to find out how karma is treating our president. I have this deep down feeling that it’s a huge hoax so he can magically come out of it and say, “told you so.” Still, not knowing causes us to wish him a speedy recovery. No one needs to suffer without someone caring.

That’s my political statement for the day.

Along our course we’ve passed numerous cranberry bogs. Ocean Spray has a presence in the area and, I understand, buys the products of the private bogs that pepper the area. So, when you eat that stuff at Thanksgiving, you’re eating a little bit of Oregon, in a way.

Not too far down the road is the town of Sixes. I’m curious about that place and need to know the history behind the name. I’ll share it with you because I bet you’re curious, too.

OK, I’ll just tell you what I know, and what I found out on Wikipedia.

Sixes is an unincorporated town that’s so small that, though we were looking, we drove right through it, or by it, without a clue that anything was there. That’s when Wikipedia came into play and that’s what I shared on the link connected to the first word in this paragraph. There’s probably more history available, but I’ll just let you look it up.

In the mean time, Diane took a right off Highway 101 to visit Cape Blanco State Park. This will allow us to check off one more Oregon state park from our list. I have no idea how many we have left to visit, but I think we’ve been to the majority of them.

Cape Blanco is a windy place.

Diane’s hair flying off into the wind. Caught it right at the edge of the cliff.

We got out and walked around a bit then Diane went back to the car because of the cold wind. Temp is 64 but wind chill is around 12, I’m sure. After Diane got in the car, she couldn’t close the door.

Go the lighthouse in the cut out at the top of the sign.
Cape Blanco lighthouse.
Here’s why they need a lighthouse.

After leaving the lighthouse area, we ventured down the gravel road that indicated it had beach access, and, by golly, it did. It was an interesting trip on a very narrow road.

When we reached the bottom, pretty close to the beach, we were the 2nd car. Within 15 minutes there were at least 8 cars parked with ours. That seems to happen a lot when we go places. The places is empty, then the masses follow. It’s like, “Hey, Jerrie & Diane are here! Let’s go, too!”

Cape Blanco is apparently a repository for a majority of lumber that washes up on Oregon beaches. There’s at least one whole forest laying at the high tide mark.

There was another road on the way from the lighthouse to Highway 101, leading to the Hughes farm house. It was built in 1898 by an Irish couple who cleared the land and raised 7 children in this isolated place. Hearty folks.

Diane’s window shopping. No tours today.
It’s windy most of the time at the house. Trees grow like this.

Now we’re on our way into Port Orford when the third historical site is awaiting us; the Port Orford Life Boat Station. We got there and discovered that seeing anything involved walking so we just sat in the parking lot for a bit, turned around, and headed back to the ranch. We were already wind burned and didn’t feel the need to make it worse. Thanks to the internet I was able to get you a link to the pertinent information.

Another reason for heading home is that my laptop is down to 22% and will quickly fall to 0% and I’ll forget everything I was going to write.

Now we’re ‘home’ and we’ve had supper.

Life is good.